“Can I mix ECA or T3 with my anabolic steroid stack?” This question is asked very frequently by steroid users ready to cut some body fat in anticipation of an upcoming show. The answer is yes, you can. However, there are some factors of which you should analyze before using either drug. Remember that every individual is different and that these are only general guidelines for how most bodybuilders respond to the use of these compounds.
Why would this even be a question? Well, ECA is a compound that can cause some major changes in the body. It can also lead to some pretty undesirable interactions with other drugs. Mixing ECA with SSRI anti-depressants, antibiotics, or even some cough medicines can cause serious cardiac damage, or even death. Wise users of ECA (a stack of 200 mg caffeine, 25 mg ephedrine, and 200 mg aspirin) will check for interactions with any drugs they use, including anabolic steroids.
Another argument exists as to whether or not the cutting agent T3 should be using with an AAS cycle – or even at all. If you are a bodybuilder competing at the local, regional, or even state level, you don’t need to use T3. This may run contrary to the wishes of some intermediate bodybuilders who have read about T3 and fallen in love with the idea of using it. However, attempting to alter the thyroid function is something that should only be done by advanced bodybuilders who really need a level of cutting power that ECA cannot provide.
It’s true that there is going to be a drop in your natural T3 and T4 levels when supplementing with either anabolic steroids or human growth hormone. Trenbolone in particular can wreck T3 production for the short-term. Androgens decrease thyroid output. Dropping calories won’t help much either. However, this decreased thyroid output will be minimal, and your body will recover (read: return to normal function) within a month or so after AAS use is halted. The recovery from thyroid altering drugs often takes much longer.
If you are going to run T3 with your bodybuilding cycle, limits its use to the very tail end of your pre-contest diet, when the show is two weeks away, you are possibly behind schedule, and the ECA isn’t working like it did earlier in the diet. At this point, it may be useful to allow a very short-term bump to your metabolism and fat burning processes. However, long-term use of T3 during the entire pre-contest phase (or worse, for the duration of the year) is never advised.
In the bigger picture, your metabolism is your best friend when it comes to long-term weight management. Anything which may adversely affect it – including the use of thyroid medication when none is needed for health purposes – should be avoided. Obviously, many top-level bodybuilders are going to justify the use of these drugs because their livelihood depends upon it. For amateurs competing at the state level or lower, however, the use of these drugs are not necessary or advisable.